Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

June 4, 2012

New York: Retiring Rep. Ed Towns Endorses Charles Barron

Retiring New York Democratic Rep. Ed Towns today endorsed New York City Councilman Charles Barron (D) to be his successor in Congress.

It may give a boost to Barron, seen as the underdog in the Democratic primary against state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in the Brooklyn-based 8th district, most of which is currently represented by Towns.

“Independent voices are needed more than ever in today’s political environment,” Towns said in a statement. “That’s why I am giving my support to Charles Barron who has been an independent voice over the years. He is unselfish and is definitely has the interests of the people of this district at heart.” Full story

Illinois: Democrats Set Up Application Process in 12th District

Illinois Democrats this weekend set up their process to select a new nominee in the open 12th district seat. Meanwhile, at least one more potential candidate emerged.

William Enyart, the adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, is the newest name to express an interest in running for retiring Rep. Jerry Costello’s (D) seat.

Democrats were forced to fill a vacancy on the ballot after their nominee unexpectedly dropped out of the race for health reasons. Local county party leaders will pick a replacement candidate in the coming weeks to face businessman Jason Plummer, the GOP nominee. Full story

Arizona: House Majority PAC Airs TV Ad Against Jesse Kelly

With about a week left to vote, the Democratic group House Majority PAC has gone on the Tucson airwaves with a television ad that includes a clip of veteran Jesse Kelly (R) personally attacking then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in the 2010 campaign.

The ad is backed by a six-figure buy. Kelly is running against former Giffords aide Ron Barber in the 8th district special election to replace the former Congresswoman, who resigned earlier this year to focus on recovering from being shot.

The ad comes one day after it was announced that Giffords will appear at a “Get Out the Vote Concert and Rally” to support Barber ahead of next week’s special election. Saturday’s event at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson will include artists such as Salvador Duran and the Kevin Pakulis Band.

Full story

Florida: Connie Mack IV Gets Mike Lee Endorsement

UPDATED 6:32 p.m. | Rep. Connie Mack IV, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for Senate in Florida, shored up his conservative credentials today with the endorsement of tea-party-affiliated conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Full story

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Named as Mitt Romney’s House Liaison

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Named as Mitt Romney’s House Liaison

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney today named Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) his House liaison, a major new role for the 5th-ranking House Republican who has become the face of the House GOP on women’s issues.

“She understands the impact of the economic challenges Americans face and the need to put our country on a better track. As a member of the leadership team in the House, she will be a helpful partner in our efforts to ensure our focus remains on the critical issue of economic security for all Americans,” Romney said in a statement.

Full story

June 2, 2012

Michigan: McCotter Drops Write-In Bid and Retires

Michigan: McCotter Drops Write In Bid and Retires

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) declared Saturday he would not wage a write-in campaign, ending an uphill bid to keep his seat after failing to make the primary ballot last week.

“I have ended my write-in campaign in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District,” McCotter said in a statement posted on his website.

McCotter did not make the primary ballot when his campaign only turned in 244 valid signatures — far less than the 1,000 required by the secretary of state to run for Congress in Michigan. McCotter was dumbfounded, and Republicans were livid at their colleague for putting an otherwise safe GOP seat in play.

Full story

Massachusetts: New Polls Show Senate Race a Dead Heat

Two new polls showed the white-hot Massachusetts Senate race between GOP Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren to be neck-and-neck. The race remains essentially tied despite weeks of controversy surrounding Warren’s intermittent claims during her professional career that she is of Native American heritage.

A Boston Globe/University of New Hampshire poll of likely voters found Brown getting 39 percent to Warren’s 37 percent in a matchup. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed were undecided.

A Springfield Republican newspaper/Western New England University Polling Institute poll of registered voters found Brown getting 43 percent to Warren’s 45 percent. Eleven percent of those surveyed were undecided. Full story

June 1, 2012

Arizona: Cardon TV Ad Uses Questionable Image

Update: 6:03 p.m. | Real estate investor Wil Cardon’s Senate campaign essentially conceded today that it used a misleading image of GOP primary opponent Rep. Jeff Flake in its latest television advertisement.

In the spot, Flake is pictured standing with President Barack Obama at what appears to be a Capitol Hill press conference. The screen shot shows Obama speaking from a podium with Flake on stage, looking on from behind. The Flake campaign accused the Cardon campaign of using a false image. The Cardon campaign did not deny the charge.

“We used multiple images of Congressman Flake and President Obama to demonstrate the similarity of their positions on amnesty,” Cardon campaign spokeswoman Alyssa Pivirotto said. “The pictures aren’t the point. The voters of Arizona deserve to know the real truth: For 12 years, Congressman Jeff Flake has stood beside liberals in Washington supporting amnesty.”

A Flake campaign spokesman emailed Roll Call and charged that the image of Flake and Obama in the House Gallery was photoshopped by the Cardon campaign.

“Wil Cardon’s dishonest campaign for Senate continues to mislead voters and rely on doctored photos,” Flake spokesman Andrew Wilder wrote in an email. “The truth is that Jeff Flake is a leading supporter for securing our border and does not support amnesty.”

Wilder also sent a link to  Rep. Jack Kingston’s (R-Ga.) Flickr page, which shows a similar image to the one used in the ad. But instead of President Obama at the podium, the shot on the Kingston website has Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) at the podium.

Full story

North Dakota: Report Shows Heidi Heitkamp Spending Cash

Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) spent more cash than she raised in the last several weeks, according to her most recent fundraising report.

Heitkamp raised $497,100 and spent $581,700 in the official pre-primary period from April 1 through May 23. Her spokesman, Brandon Lorenz, attributed the heavy campaign spending to recent television buys but declined to divulge the exact size of the campaign’s advertisement buys.

The Democrat’s likely opponent this fall, Rep. Rick Berg (R), raised $443,300 and spent $389,200 during the same period.

Full story

New Jersey: Steven Rothman Meets With President Barack Obama

New Jersey: Steven Rothman Meets With President Barack Obama

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File PhotRep. Steven Rothman just got a big boost.

Rep. Steven Rothman just received a big boost.

On the day President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail for his fellow Democrat and rival, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rothman countered by meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House.

He tweeted soon after he was spotted on the White House grounds.

@SteveRothmanNJ: “President Obama invited me to the Oval Office this AM to express his support for my re-election. Thank you Mr. President! Full story

Quiet on Veep, Paul Ryan Preps to Help Mitt Romney

Quiet on Veep, Paul Ryan Preps to Help Mitt Romney

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

If Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is angling to be Mitt Romney’s running mate, he’s nailed the art of campaigning for the job.

In an interview Thursday, the House Budget chairman declined to discuss the topic, waving me off mid-question as I tried to gauge his interest in being selected as the 2012 vice presidential nominee.

Has Ryan given the Romney campaign permission to vet him? Is the Congressman’s wife on board should the Republican presidential nominee ask him to serve? Ryan isn’t talking, which, ironically, is the best strategy if he’s interested in the job.

“Yeah, I’m not going to get into that stuff,” Ryan said during a conversation in his Capitol Hill office. “I’m not going to comment on the inner workings of their campaign. I don’t see any purpose in doing that.”

A youthful 42, Ryan appeared otherwise relaxed, and he engaged without hesitating on the other questions posed to him throughout an interview that was wedged between House votes and scheduled phone calls. The state of the Congressman’s relationship with Romney was not off limits.

Full story

May 31, 2012

New Jersey: Steven Rothman Makes Serious Television Buy in New York Market

Rep. Steven Rothman is going big in the last days of his Democratic primary against Rep. Bill Pascrell in New Jersey’s newly drawn 9th district.

His campaign just released a television ad about the environment that is on the air in the expensive New York City market. The money behind it is well into the six figures. Redistricting forced both Members to compete for the same Democratic-leaning seat.

Full story

Hawaii: VoteVets.org Adds $50K to TV Buy for Tulsi Gabbard

VoteVets.org, the largest progressive organization of veterans in the country, spent $50,000 on Wednesday to keep on air its TV ad supporting Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard. The spot will now run for two more weeks.

Gabbard, who was endorsed Wednesday by EMILY’s List, is one of several Democrats vying for the nomination in Hawaii’s 2nd district, currently held by Rep. Mazie Hirono (D), who is running for Senate. Full story

Florida: Vern Buchanan Reserves $4M in TV Time

Florida: Vern Buchanan Reserves $4M in TV Time

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) has reserved $4 million worth of television advertising time in the Tampa/Sarasota media market, locking in rates and placement in what is expected to be a very crowded media environment.

According to a memo from Buchanan’s media firm, SRCPmedia, campaign advertising will begin Aug. 1 and end on Election Day, with a “two-week hiatus in late August.”

The reservation includes a whopping 12,000 gross rating points of advertising on Tampa stations, the memo said.

Buchanan, independently wealthy, is in a comfortably Republican district, but a series of dark ethics clouds have been hovering over him.

Full story

Virginia: Tim Kaine Purchases $2.5M in Fall Airtime, Outraises George Allen

Virginia: Tim Kaine Purchases $2.5M in Fall Airtime, Outraises George Allen

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine announced a TV ad buy for his Senate race. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine purchased $2.5 million in fall TV time for his blockbuster Senate race with fellow former Gov. George Allen.

The campaign announced the buy today along with its pre-primary fundraising. From April 1 to May 23, Kaine outraised Allen by about $450,000, raising more than $1.2 million to Allen’s $751,000. Full story

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